Acquired, What Now?

AQUIRED, NOW WHAT? ISBN: 9780692143384 Vigilant Press, an e-book Copyright and written by Keno Vigil.

Following the title, the author admonishes the reader to “Embrace the flux and uncertainty of M&A and become a savvy and bulletproof business professional. Your Journey Awaits.” The book then provides 30 chapters detailing a mass of material required for dealing with and successfully surviving a merger or acquisition of the company of which one is an employee. The first three chapters detail the need for such material because of the huge number of these transactions which occur yearly. Involved not only are small ‘start-ups’, but medium and large companies as well, each of which may be involved in friendly or unfriendly negotiations and may be of equal or unequal size. The next 6 chapters explain much about the circumstances and the learning process the author personally had endured when he had been involved in 6 such situations. The rest of the chapters present myriad suggestions of the many steps one can take before the event occurs, during the transition and beyond the immediate transition period. The almost countless differences that may exist between one’s former employer and the new one also are examined and certain chapters deal especially with such specifics as: “The Acid Test: Will You Survive or Not?; Pillow Talk that discusses discussion with family/partners; The New Culture that describes the often almost completely incomprehensible new usage/meanings of words/abbreviations; Does Your Boss Have Your Back; Taking Care of Your Group; and more.

Discussion: the author appears to have provided a treasure trove of thoroughly up-to-date suggestions for any individual facing a situation in which he/she is, or is about to be, involved in a M&A. Most prevalent throughout is emphasis on the vital need for adaptability, ability to regulate your emptions, and to employ your intelligence, integration and innovative abilities to their fullest. Proper interpretation of nuances also may be vital. Most helpfully included are a list of 10 factors that provide an “Acquisition Fitness Score” and 6 “Integration Strategies. Included at the end of the book are: Appendix A: Provides Further detail on “The Survival Fitness Analysis Worksheet and Score”; Appendix B: Key M&A Terms. There also are 20 specific References, another list of short references; and finally more short details “About the Author”.

5* Seemingly a must read for anyone subject to changes effected by M&A.

The Books of Knowledge

The BOOKS of KNOWLEDGE, The LEGEND of ALM an e-book published and written by Graham M. Irwin.

Plot: Basically difficult to describe. Having lost his mother and with his brother gone, a teen age boy decides to travel to another area (country, town?) in the Land of Alm to find his father who had departed to earn more money. His present residence appears to be quite primitive, filled with unusual named beasts and hunting a way of life. The journey begins and he encounters a huge type of extremely viscous and dangerous wolf whom he manages to turn into a faithful travelling companion. The trip becomes greatly extended when his first stop is in a somewhat more advanced settlement where he meets a charming young lady and her mother who make him want to linger. Suddenly however, the mother, who is part of a secret protective group for a legendary set of Books of Knowledge about the beginnings of their world, fears the volume that is in her custody will be taken from her. She consigns it to his care with instructions to deliver it to a specific person in another part of the realm. He makes the delivery successfully, but faces more changes in his itinerary when he becomes responsible for the entire set of books, finds that the young lady whom he met earlier also has become part of the secret protectorate. The extensive ensuing trips are fraught with danger and lead to increasingly more advanced civilizations in cities with more sophisticated, albeit less friendly, people with their attendant problems. All of the while he must protect the Books of Knowledge until he finally discovers a way to make them useful to ‘save Alm’.

Discussion: The author has written a fantasy that will have a certain amount of appeal to readers who delight in pure fantasy. For those less ‘dedicated’ to the genre, the going might be a bit more difficult. The jump from most of the world seemingly being rather unsophisticated and under developed to one advanced ‘city state’ with all modern conveniences and even capability of setting off an atomic bomb, is quite a jolt. Especially when such development appears to coexist in a world with no evidence of any type of communication among its inhabitants. Additionally, although initially the book appears to tend toward young adult readers, the language denies such a target audience. With its wandering into depictions of the protectorate’s descent into ridiculous discussions and similar mention of other features evident in today’s way of life, it also brings allegory to mind, but again doesn’t follow through. Thus, one seems to be forced to settle for the aforementioned theme of pure fantasy. As an aside, the action and characters were presented in an uncomfortably ‘stilted’ manner.

Conclusion: Regrettably from this reader’s perspective, this is a tale more specifically for pure fantasy devotees who also are able to overlook several accompanying problems.

3* Perhaps 4* for those fantasy devotees described; 2* or less for others.